MSJ: PDP has opportunity to make Tobago ‘a model for the entire country’

“[…] The MSJ looks forward to the PDP making good on its commitments to implement transparency and accountability in the affairs of the Tobago House of Assembly. 

“We also believe that the overwhelming mandate received by the PDP presents an opportunity to fashion a new development approach in Tobago based on principles of fairness, equity and participatory governance…”

The following media statement on the overwhelming electoral victory of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) in the Tobago House of Assembly elections was submitted to Wired868 by MSJ political leader David Abdulah:

Photo: PDP deputy political leader Farley Augustine (nearest camera) and his team.
(via PDP)

The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) congratulates Tobagonians on the historic election for the Tobago House of Assembly yesterday. The elections saw the Progressive Democratic Patriots secure an overwhelming win in terms of both votes cast and seats won, over the People’s National Movement. 

This is the first time in 21 years that the PNM has lost control of the THA. Tobagonians therefore registered in no uncertain manner their desire for change. It also sent a very powerful message to the PNM that Tobagonians were tired of the old politics and that the spending of big money to win an election and the use of state patronage by way of handouts or the starting of projects or re-stating old promises just before an election will not sway people who want real change. 

Tobagonians also rejected the strategy of ‘attack politics’ that the PNM used in an effort to demonise the PDP and its leaders and of the top down, arrogant style leadership (we know best for you) of the PNM.

The MSJ congratulates the PDP on its outstanding victory, especially since it neither had the power of incumbency nor the kind of campaign finance enjoyed by the PNM. In particular, we wish to congratulate Brother Farley Augustine for his clear-headed leadership of the PDP in this election campaign.

Photo: PDP deputy political leader Farley Augustine.
(via PDP)

In his many statements, Brother Augustine offered the people of Tobago a vision of new governance for the THA. He reiterated this in his excellent victory speech to Tobagonians and Trinidadians last night. This offers hope that significant change will happen in Tobago.

The MSJ looks forward to the PDP making good on its commitments to implement transparency and accountability in the affairs of the Tobago House of Assembly. We also believe that the overwhelming mandate received by the PDP presents an opportunity to fashion a new development approach in Tobago based on principles of fairness, equity and participatory governance. 

In concrete terms, this means the promotion of the social economy of co-operatives, small and micro-enterprises and the opportunity for the many, and not just the few, to be involved in decision-making. If this is achieved Tobago could well be a model for the entire country.

Finally, this THA election result means that Tobagonians wish to establish a new governance relationship with Trinidad, one that is founded upon mutual respect and a recognition that Tobago can no longer be ‘ruled’ by Trinidad.

Photo: Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley addresses allegations about his filings at the Integrity Commission in a media conference on 3 December 2021.
Rowley’s PNM were soundly beaten at the THA elections on 6 December 2021.

There should be nothing about Tobago without Tobagonians being directly involved and this crucially includes the issue of any Tobago autonomy legislation.

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